Tonight, my significant other and I went to a pool hall. We were the only flaming people, the only visible females, and the only white people playing. The table beside ours was played by three guys who joked around with us a little. All of us mutually shared the space with comofort.
They were loudly laughing and sharing stories with each other. Some words we overheard were, "gay," "fag," and "cunt." My s.o. and I hold hands and exchange pecks in public, so these guys knew that we're dykes. None of them snuck looks at us to judge our reactions or said anything like, "Hey man, that's not cool." I concluded that these were just some cool guys who don't know any better. It mattered more that they were respectful of us as neighbors than that they monitor their word choices, although it's still disappointing that such terms are used in such ways. It's no different than racist or anti-Semitic slurs.
Were we in a situation that would involve more regular contact and actual introductions, I would have talked to them about it. Just a simple, non-threatening, "Hey man, that's not cool." Chances are that nobody had said anything to them about it before!